- Southeast Arizona Birding Guide, Richard Fray - https://www.arizonabirder.com -

Buff-breasted Flycatcher, Virginia’s Warbler, Montezuma Quail

A great day of birding the Huachuca Mountains and Las Cienegas, with 80 species.

Sierra Vista:

The usual summertime SWAINSON’S HAWK were still around.

Carr Canyon:

Several BUFF-BREASTED FLYCATCHERS are still present at the Reef Townsite Campground, along with ZONE-TAILED HAWK, BROAD-TAILED HUMMINGBIRD, ARIZONA WOODPECKER, PLUMBEOUS VIREO, WESTERN SCRUB-JAY, BUSHTIT, BROWN CREEPER, ‘BROWN-THROATED’ HOUSE WREN, BLUE-GRAY GNATCATCHER, WESTERN BLUEBIRD, AMERICAN ROBIN, CHIPPING SPARROW, YELLOW-EYED JUNCO, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK. Warblers were a feature, comprising GRACE’S, BLACK-THROATED GRAY and WILSON’S WARBLER, and PAINTED REDSTART.

Buff-breasted Flycatcher [1]

Juvenile American Robin [2]

Greater Pewee [3]

A walk up to the Old Sawmill Spring was productive, as we eventually found our target bird, VIRGINIA’S WARBLER, as well as NASHVILLE WARBLER.

Virginia's Warbler [4]

I found it impossible to capture the beauty of the flower meadow at the spring, but I tried nonetheless.

Flowers at Old Sawmill Spring, Carr Canyon [5]

Casa de San Pedro B&B:

It was delightful to see a roosting BARN OWL and three GREAT HORNED OWLS in the trees by the B&B.

Barn Owl [6]

Great Horned Owl [7]

Great Horned Owl [8]

Great Horned Owl [9]

Las Cienegas:

I was surprised to see a pair of MONTEZUMA QUAIL with four babies crossing the road, the first time I’ve seen this species here. I don’t really think of it as a species of pure grasslands, but I might have to revise this opinion, as they weren’t near any of the habitat I normally associate them with. I tend to think of Montezuma Quail as a species of grassy foothills with scattered oaks, and mid to higher elevation oak woodland.

Cottonwood Pond had GRAY HAWK, PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, WESTERN TANAGER, and LAZULI BUNTING, as well as CHIRICAHUA LEOPARD FROG.

Elsewhere around the grasslands, we encountered LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE, BOTTERI’S, CASSIN’S, LARK, BLACK-THROATED, and GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS, LARK BUNTING, PYRRHULOXIA, BLUE GROSBEAK, ‘LILIAN’S’ EASTERN MEADOWLARK, and HOODED ORIOLE.

American Kestrel [10]

Botteri's Sparrow [11]

Lark Bunting [12]

Las Cienegas [13]

The mammal highlights were COYOTE and PRONGHORN, while the reptile of the day was a splendid ORNATE BOX TURTLE, always a joy to find.

Ornate Box Turtle [14]